One of the primary objectives of hospitals nationwide is to stop patients from falling.
Falls are a costly endeavor for both patients and hospitals alike. Patients hope to recover quickly during their hospital stay, and being injured from falls prolongs their recovery. Preventing patient falls helps hospitals reduce unexpected costs, improve their reputation — and most importantly — help patients recover more easily.
A solution to these challenges is remote patient monitoring technology. The Bedford Veterans Affairs Medical Center, also known as the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, found this innovative solution in NOVA (Nursing Observation and Virtual Assistant).
Why the Bedford VA Medical Center Chose Remote Patient Monitoring Technology
Hospital sitter programs are theoretically designed to provide instant care between nursing staff to patients. The Bedford VA Medical Center relied on a 1:1 hospital sitter program to monitor veteran patients during their hospital stay and to try to reduce falls in hospitals.
However, this 1:1 hospital sitter program proved ineffective to both patients and the nursing staff of the Bedford VA Medical Center.
"The VA experienced higher costs and tied up resources for 1:1 sitting that could have been utilized more efficiently to better serve the VA residents," said Michael Adamcik, Project Manager.
Carlos Lopez, Veterans Affairs Caregiver Program Coordinator, noticed that despite having a 1:1 hospital sitter program in place, patient falls had increased. That's when Bedford VA Medical Center realized they needed an alternative to a 1:1 hospital sitter program.
Lopez then connected with the Wachter Healthcare Solutions team for reliable remote patient monitoring technology.
"Carlos was the acting Patient Safety Manager at the time and he noticed an increase in patient falls and falls with major injury," said Ashley Kuruvilla, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, NOVA Business Development Manager. "He then worked to implement NOVA as a way to improve in these areas to reduce patient falls."
The Bedford VA Medical Center is using the NOVA MCA30 mobile carts to monitor patients remotely. These carts allow for continuous monitoring of patients, decreases the use and cost of hospital sitters, and improves safety of their patients during their hospital stay.
Why Remote Patient Monitoring Technology Works
Kuruvilla said that the Bedford VA Medical Center has noticed an improvement with patient falls and a decrease in costs from the 1:1 hospital sitter program because they are using NOVA.
Now, nurses are better able to assist in responsibilities that provide the best patient care while still being able to prevent falls and provide immediate care for veterans. It also reduces the costly burden by no longer relying on a expensive 1:1 hospital sitter program.
Another important benefit of NOVA is that there is an observation technician in the hospital who monitors patients via the camera that is installed in each of the NOVA devices. This allows for constant monitoring of patients 24 hours a day and can coordinate quick assistance to patients as necessary.
"NOVA has been able to reduce the number of staff needed on a 1:1 basis and has helped save on costs resulting in a successful return on investment for Bedford VA Medical Center," Adamcik said.
The relationship between Wachter Healthcare Solutions and the Bedford VA Medical Center "has been outstanding," says Adamcik. As is the case with every hospital, our team worked closely with Lopez, his nursing staff, and their IT team to address all questions, issues, concerns, and systems related operations in a professional and timely manner.
Wachter Healthcare Solutions works to solicit feedback from clients during the discovery phase and continually throughout our relationships with our clients. This helps us best understand how we can help nursing staff across the country to help them provide the best patient care while using NOVA.